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Spanish Supercup to adopt “Final Four” system, be played abroad

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The Spanish FA’s plans still must be approved before the format is officially adopted

FC Barcelona v Sevilla - Copa del Rey Quarter Final Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The Spanish football association’s president, Luis Rubiales, has unveiled plans to adopt a “Final Four” system to determine the winner of next year’s Spanish Supercup. Previously the cup was decided with only two teams competing, but Rubiales wants to expand it to four teams, with semifinal matches before the final. The games would all be played outside of Spain, if the plans are approved in an April meeting by the federation’s assembly.

Prior to this season, the Supercup was decided in a two-legged final, played in the home stadiums of the two competitors. But this term’s edition was played in Morocco and consisted of a single match, which Barcelona won 2-1 against Sevilla.

The tournament has historically pitted the previous season’s winners of La Liga against the current holders of the Copa del Rey trophy. At certain points, if a team won both, they were awarded the Supercup automatically. But as it stood as of the last time it was last held, if a team won both the cup and the league, the runners-up of the cup played the Supercup as well.

Now, the winners of La Liga and the winners of the Copa del Rey, alongside the runners-up from both competitions, will be drawn into two semifinals of one match each. The winners will play one match to determine who gets the Supercup.

If a team is a winner or runner-up of more than one competition, Rubiales said they would fill the vacant spot with the team with the best historical record in the Copa del Rey who is yet to qualify.

La Liga president Javier Tebas criticized Rubiales’s plans for not taking into consideration what the clubs had to say about the matter. Previously, Rubiales opposed Tebas’s plan to play a league match in Miami between Barcelona and Girona. Rubiales insists that playing a Supercup in neutral territory is a different matter altogether than playing a theoretical home league match outside of Spain.